Friday 19 August 2016

Headshunt ballasting

Two days later, the 300yd headshunt ballasting is almost completed.

No dust today, it rained most of the morning, and Dan, in shorts and T shirt on Tuesday, is now in full wet weather gear. What a change.
Here he is, setting off from Little Buckland to cross the bridge and take another 6 ton load to Laverton.

This is where today's drops were taking place, the connection between the former headshunt, and the start of the newly laid and welded section. We're looking towards Broadway here.

Another 6 drops here should see the end of the ballasting of the old headshunt, then the sleepers, laid to one side, can be put back and we are ready to receive the first load of rail! It's due on September 2nd.

Stepping back to the beginning of the old headshunt, you can see the fruits of our labours over the last 3 days - a nice smooth bed of new ballast, laid on Terram. The sleepers can be glimpsed in the weeds on the right.

Looking back towards Toddington from the same place, you can see the end of the ballasted part of the loop (which was left in place as in good order) and in the distance the pilasters of Laverton bridge, where the new rail laid so far stops at the moment. All traces of the loop have now been removed.

When the rail is laid over Little Buckland bridge and beyond, it will no longer be possible to use that area as a ballast delivery point.

This makes it interesting, as the next ballast delivery point will be the lower 'car park' field at Broadway! That looks like some time away yet, but we're getting nearer! Ballast will then be shuttled down to bridge 4 at Peasebrook Farm, about 1/2 mile away.

Mechanical things....

If, like your blogger, you are interested in mechanical things, you might be interested in this new piece of kit in the loco shed at Toddington. When the floor was concreted and the pits built, room was left for this fascinating installation and here it is, an axle weighing machine.

When an axle (in this case from the newly rebuilt tender of Dinmore Manor) is placed on the mobile piece of rail, sensors underneath transmit the weight to these two screens (left and Right).

We tested it with a volunteer on the 'Red' set - the weight registered 25Kgs ! Either this volunteer urgently needs feeding with burgers and coke, or the machine still has to be calibrated. (the latter was the case).


  1. Roll on September the 2nd ! Can't wait to see more track in situ, and also ballasting at Broadway too. Great photos and blog. Always interesting. Regards, Paul.

  2. Ah Broadway draws nearer at last! Well done you guys and always interesting news and pictures on your blog. Keep up the good work.

  3. Did the rail arrive on 2nd September